I have just read an article in The Guardian by Michelle Mone, the co-founder of Ultimo.

In this article she writes:

I can’t stand people who say you must be a graduate to succeed. I think it’s fantastic if you are a graduate because it gives you the ability to learn, but it doesn’t give you common sense. In business it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re from a wealthy background or how good your education was. I just love it that if you’ve got drive, determination and a can-do attitude you can achieve anything you want as an entrepreneur.

These words were joy to my ears.  All too often I come across both men and women who think they can’t compete in the world of business because they don’t have a degree or equivalent.  And I always say to them that a degree is not what will make them successful.

In my opinion, and what I have seen proven time after time over the years, is that life experience and a can do attitude wins over higher education every time.  Personally, I would far rather deal with someone who has been out there and learnt from the grass roots up than sat in a university and studied books but never actually put their learning into practice.

I have had people come to me and when I ask why they think they will be successful they tell me because they have a diploma in business studies.  This always rings alarms bells with me because no amount of book reading and attending lectures will give you the same knowledge as being out there and doing it.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not putting anyone down who has taken time to further their education.  And this is critical to do in certain industries such as medicine and law.  But not having this level of education should not be a barrier to being a successful entrepreneur.  Just look at the likes of Henry Ford, Richard Branson and Walt Disney amongst many others – there is a list of 100 degreeless entrepreneurs on Business Insider.  They learnt from the bottom up and it did not take letters after their name for them to be successful.

So believe in yourself.  Have a passion and a determined, can do attitude and you have all the pre-requisites of being able to start and run your own business.